Tuesday, December 16, 2008

3 of My Favorites

Singing, reading and writing are 3 of my favorite things. This week has been a good one for all 3. Like most weeks, I did a lot of singing... between church, the House of Prayer, my shower, my car... etc. I was pretty excited/nervous about singing a solo in a song we sang at church... "You Won't Relent" by Misty Edwards. It's a song that I love, so it was really exciting to get to sing it at church. It's interesting... I do have to deal with my "stuff" when it comes to doing a solo kind of thing... it's really important to me that I really worship when I'm on worship team... I don't want to be in a performance mentality... as much as I want to do well... if that makes sense. I also don't want to get to overly into the whole solo thing... because as someone who loves the arts, I know it is easy for a weird competitive thing to rise up in me in wanting to be the one picked, blah blah...so it was fun and good for the soul.

I've been reading since I was really little... my parents like to tell the stories of me reading the bible at some ridiculous age where I'm sure I didn't understand much of what I was reading. Anyway, this weekend was the first meeting of a new book club I'm involved with. It's fun because it's with friends that I LOVE to spend time with and women that I have a lot of respect for so... good times. The first book we are going to read is "The Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. Apparently there is a Baltistan proverb that ring's true with theme of the book: "The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger," a villager tells Greg Mortenson. "The second time, you are an honored guest. The third time you become family.".. It's a nonfiction. I'm excited about it. I"m also working my way through the Mitford series by Jan Karon, and "How Not to Date a Loser"... which I'm actually learning a lot from.

Writing... I hadn't been doing as much of that lately... but I pulled out a poem I had written several weeks ago... I actually got the inspiration on my walk home from seeing Denison Witmer at The Chameleon. I'll post it below... I've done a few drafts, but I like this one, I think:

Droplets on Branches

I’ve looked closely to find
The nature of love
From passion to pain
In a breath

droplets on branches
left from Autumn rain
shine in the moonlight
dry up in the sun

Your kisses that lingered
On skin soft and warm
Have Melted away
in my tears

Footprints on sidewalks
Through fresh Winter snow
Melt in the sunlight
Were you ever here?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

So Many Blessings to Count

Thanksgiving is past, (though the leftovers remain) and I am thinking about thankfulness some more... I think I do count my blessings fairly often. Here are some of the things I've been thankful for today:

  • that I have a family that has taught me how to be loving and receive love affectionately
  • for friends that I can go be girlie with and go for coffee, or shoe and purse shopping when I need a diversion
  • for friends to share holidays and special moments with when I can't make it up north
  • for a really great roommate. It's important to be comfortable and happy in your home and I am!
  • my car... it's nice to have one I'm proud of and can rely on
  • health insurance.
  • a thoughtful brother who knows me so well and is one of my best friends
  • Hope

Thursday, November 20, 2008

it's beginning to look a lot like

Yeah, I know Thanksgiving hasn't happened yet. And I have not broken out any of my Christmas paraphanalia yet, but my heart is heading in that direction. This morning there were flurries, which was extremely exciting and beautiful. I listened to some James Taylor Christmas with Melody and today the Rosie Thomas song "Why Can't It Be Christmastime All Year". Fun. I still am waiting for decorating until after Thanksgiving... which is soon.

I have some gift ideas in mind...we'll see... this year I don't feel as alone in the low fundage scenario... I think just about everyone is cutting back. I think it lends to more creative gifting so that could be fun, actually. Some time spent gifts, perhaps.

I'm going to be 34 soon. Weird. WEEIIRRDDD. There is a lot that I still can't believe hasn't happened yet in my life, and some things that I am shocked HAVE happened. Life is unpredictable that's for sure.

I had a conversation last night about goals that got me thinking... about what things are within my power and what aren't. About what measurable success is. Still chewing on this, and might have more to share on it later.

Monday, November 10, 2008

and Closer...

I was thinking about the title/url to my blog... closer-to-fine. I came up with that as my title years ago. Certainly, I don't equate my life to the lyrics of the song with the same title... at all. (though musically I love "the girls") But I do feel like life's a journey and hopefully I am always getting closer to the Truth in it and closer to loving myself and God the way I should. (I know that God has done big things in that area already, but know there's a long way to go!!!)

Today after I chose the picture I'm using for my blog of me as a little 4th grader in Cape Cod... I was thinking about the "become like a child" verse. It says "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." I also found this verse in Phillipians. " Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe "

Although I am, in fact, quite child-like in many ways...as my friends can attest to. I have a lot farther... or closer to go. And, we are not naturally that way... we have to "change and become" like children.

...and I love the phrase "Shine like stars in the universe". How beautiful is that?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Life As a Blank Sheet

Last night I led discussion at small group and we talked about surrender... one of the analogies I found when planning was that if we were to have a contract with God it should be a blank sheet of paper where we sign on the bottom and allow him to fill in the details as we go along. I know I've had times in my life where I said... ok, God I give you A, B, and C but this seems different. SO much more all encompassing. The other thing I keep learning is that I have to DAILY surrender... actually moment by moment. Lately, I've been struggling with my thoughts and being defeated by them and I HAVE GOT TO take them captive one by one and hand them over.

I'm pretty excited about the weekend ahead. Tonight I am going to lay low with some girl friends and watch movies, eat crap and just veg. I haven't done that in a LONG time. The rest of the weekend is pretty open... in fact besides my time at the House of Prayer and church I am free... so hopefully some R &R, time outdoors, or housework... we'll see.

I'm excited... the Gateway House of Prayer has been open 24/7 for a while now, but we are 1 hr away from being staffed 24/7, too... this means anytime somebody goes in they will never be alone there. I think that's pretty exciting. Where two or more are gathered... and God is worthy of 24/7 praise! (and our world needs people praying round the clock, too).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No More Que Sera Sera

I have to confess... with difficult decisions and choices in life, including the upcoming election; I have caught myself saying "whatever will be, will be..." I was reminded that this is not so. If we pray, God hears us from Heaven and answers us according to His will. We are to pray for His Kingdom to come and His Will to be done. God wants us to be involved. He wants us to surrender ourselves, our plans and our futures to Him... not throw our hands in the air and give up.

Today I spoke to a friend who admitted she is still undecided about her vote. That was another reminder to me that there are many who's minds are not made up about this election... and those who do have their minds made up that God might even decide to change! Pray for God to give us all wisdom!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

There's the Rub

So, eating right to promote weight loss and good health is something I keep trying to improve at. Constant Battle. Most of you know that I had surgery in the past (surgery 1 in 2004, surgery 2 in 2005) to remove my colon (large intestine) due to Ulcerative Colitis and pre-cancerous cells. So, I am now 3 years out from the final surgery and for the most part see a lot of improvement in my life from it. (those of you who have traveled with me before and after the surgery are well aware of how much further I can go without having to make stops). However, from time to time I'll deal with issues related to my diet/stress/environment, etc that relate to having no large intestine/digestive issues. Recently, I made quite a few adjustments to my diet in an attempt to promote weight loss/general health/etc... but I've also found myself with some issues/discomfort that includes getting up numerous times in the night.

So, today I decided to do some research on a site for people like me. Most of what I found I already knew... but it still continues to frustrate me! Of course the first thing they tell you is that it's trial and error and as time passes foods may cease to or begin to become problems. Oh, and the healthy stuff... broccoli, salad and greens like spinach, green beans, raw fruits and vegetables... are all things that are typically problems. I knew/know that things like beer/alcohol/caffeine/sugar/spicy foods and chocolate can be problems... but these are also things most anyone should avoid when trying to be healthy.

So here I am trying once again to adjust my diet so that I won't deal with discomfort and digestive issues but yet can lose weight. And I am not one of those people who loses weight due to the illness (that would be one side affect I would probably not mind as much). I had been on a roll with exercise... but because of some of my overnight episodes I haven't been able to get up as easily/felt up to it... so I have to get to the bottom of this. (although some of it is also due to the time change and darkness when I wake up...)


On the up side... I freakin loved the Zumba class... had I mentioned that yet? I'm looking forward to going back next week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

That is an old old pic from a time me and Karen went to VT. (how many years ago was that anyway?)

Today I am thankful for leftovers from concerts... since Ashlea is catering we reap the benefits in the office and it has helped me stretch this paycheck, which was very needed.

My roommate might be moving her piano into our apartment. When she asked my permission, I was like... DUH... heck yes. I am hoping it happens because I'd love to get to practice on it... and maybe even take those piano improv. lessons from my friend Mark that I never got around to before.

I'm realizing that I really need to update my fall and winter wardrobe... my sweaters are really kinda outdated... Today I am enjoying wearing my black fleece... so comfy.

Keep praying for the election. Keep praying for the current administration. Vote your conscience... after first lining up your conscience with scripture and God's guidance. Then, after the election... keep praying for whoever is in office. God can do miracles no matter who ends up in office.

While you're at it... keep praying for me. Every time I think I'm almost over you-know-who... I get hit with another blast of missing him.

Monday, October 20, 2008

autumn weekend recap

This weekend was very Autumn-y. Friday night, me, my friends Erica and Amy went line dancing... it's held at this barn/farmers market place and is very cheap and fun. (if you ever want in, let me know). Then, we went to the Lyndon Diner for dinner/breakfast. mmm scrapple :) Saturday after my worship set at Gateway I went to the Renaissance Faire with Gwend and Cyndee ... wine tasting, music, food, ale and cool autumn air all day was lovely and I was ready to climb into flannel sheets at the end of it all. Sunday after church I walked Lancaster Art Walk with Sherri (my sister in law) which was lovely... and then I crashed early in the evening. Ahhhhh.

At the Gateway worship set we really focused in on God's goodness... I got kind of overwhelmed by the character of God and how much there is to Him... which lead right into the message at church Sunday entitled "Big God". He is so rich and full and huge and awesome.

Tonight i am going to be adventurous and check out my friend Sarah's Zumba class at the Y. It's a dance oriented exercise class... so I think I will like it... but she will surely kick my butt.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A luncheon, a dream (or two), a cutie and a thought

This morning I had a fun change of routine... I "catered" a business luncheon at our office... (see picture)... I did not cook a thing... Giant and Costco take the credit, but I felt like it went well and it was fun. I brought some fall-ish items from home to decorate so it wasn't all plastic table cloths and chips in a bag and what not... not the typical ghetto lunch that I throw for the staff here at the office. :)

I have been dreaming a lot lately. The other night I dreamt about my recent ex and that was annoying. Last night I dreamt about going back to college and most of my friends were there. I attribute it to the recent re-connection with so many people from the forge on facebook. One very interesting/funny thing I remember was my friends Lauren and Paul walking around campus with glasses of wine (it was a Bible College so that wouldn't have flown)... then I had a glass that I broke and for some reason was walking around my dorm with a size-able shard of it in my mouth... and yes I cut the inside of my throat with it. What the?

Last night I babysat for Evie Grace. She is a-freakin-dorable. I love her. For real. Memorable moment from last night...I am attempting to change her diaper... of which I need much practice... and am having a bit of trouble maneuvering. During this time... Evie is being so good, but starting to get slightly irritated at my lack of skill or agility. She begins to say (and sign) "patience" "patience" repeatedly. Needless to say I hugged her and gave her whatever she wanted after that... :) The second diaper change went much better... I think.

One more thing... I had this thought. Yes really. I was thinking that perhaps my disappointment about how things were handled with this recent break up is almost hypocritical to a certain extent. You see, just like I felt like "he" went from hot to cold with me without warning... I think about how I lavish my love on the Lord... will sing of my love for him and of dancing with him, resting in his arms... you know... intimacy... and then ignore Him for days...or act like it never happened. Though it's different, it did strike me. I want to be a true and consistent lover of God... just as I hope to someday have that from a lover in this life... and am thankful that He (God) is always consistent and true and passionate and kind to me.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Good Breaking

So something broke today... in a good way. I'm not the only one who felt it. YESSSSSSSS. THANK YOU JESUS.

I attribute it to prayer. Some of us prayed together the other day at the office and I think that was very significant.

So, last night I was up watching t.v. for a while after getting home from the parade. I then had trouble falling asleep... which I attribute, partially, to eating pizza... but I digress... Anyway, I was up a few times. At 3:30, it was significant, though. I had either been thinking or dreaming about the president entering the room and how when he does, everybody stands. Then I thought about royalty and then the Lord... and suddenly, literally I had a whole song... all the lyrics in one shot. I feel they came from God and I've had some level headed people confirm that they believe it, too. Another good friend admitted he was awake at 3:30 this am and found it significant... I'll find out details later... but here's the song:

(I picture it being heavy in the drum/percussion area kind of in the vein of Nicole C Mullen "Freedom" or something "world beat" maybe almost like a chant or the "Victory March" .... I don't have music for it yet, though. )

Get On Your Feet

Stand Up
for there is royalty in this place
Stand Up
the King is here
Stand Up
to sit would surely be a disgrace
Stand Up
when He is near

No more dy-ing
No more cry-ing
No more worries
No more fear
No more danger
No more strangers
No more anger
The King is here

Stand Up
for there is royalty in this place
Stand Up
the King is here
Stand Up
to sit would surely be a disgrace
Stand Up
when He is near

Our names are clear
Can you see it
Can you hear it
Can you feel it
The Day is here

Stand Up
Do you need help standing to your feet
Stand Up
then take my hand
Stand up
for we are just about to be led
Stand Up
to the promised Land

Get up on your feet, Get Up on your feet, It's time to Get up on your feet. Everybody get up on your feet (or something like that)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

All I've Got

I promise my posts won't always be this intense...

A lot is swirling around right now in my world and I think that is the same for most of you, too... and this is more than just the story of a girl with a broken heart... life has just been less fun the past few weeks for several reasons.

Recently, I've felt out of control, exhausted, disappointed, frustrated, angry... yet still hopeful and clinging to a joy deeper than what I can see with my eyes. Today is better than yesterday and I believe it will continue to head in that direction.

I'm trying to focus my heart on what is good, right, lovely, etc. Some phrases/verses that I'm trying to keep on the forefront of my mind are:

Be still and know that I am God

Leaning on the everlasting arms

I will not leave you or forget you

On Christ the solid rock I stand when all around is sinking sand

Do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself

For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you
You make all things new

Friday, October 03, 2008

There was no sweat or butt cracks (see previous post for clarity on that) this morning. I'll at least get some exercise walking at First Friday tonight... and I'm making a healthy dinner, so that will be good...especially since I have been gradually letting the junk food back into my life this week. No more... I say, no more.

This weekend will be good and hopefully very fun... First Friday tonight with a strange conglomeration of friends. Tomorrow night the Art Music Justice concert... Sara Groves, Derek Webb, Brandon Heath, Charlie Peacock and Sandra McCracken! Plus a pre-show trip to TJ Rockwells which for me will include a Blueberry Wheat ale... with blueberries in it... Y-U-M. Sunday after church I'm supposed to do something fun and active outside with my friend Erica... so yes... good, distracting fun.

One more thing... last night at our small group affectionately called The Pub, God knew exactly what I needed. My friend Mark led and instead of our typical discussion/scripture kind of night, he played keyboard and we did some singing and some just praying/corporate quiet time similar to what I'm used to at Gateway House of Prayer. It was uncomfortable for me in a good way...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I'm so selfish. Really. I mean when life was sunshine and rainbows I was all about me and how great my life was. Now that I'm feeling more cloudy and... well like what some like to refer to as "shite" today... it's still about me and my whiny self. Gross. I so want to think on those things that are right and pleasing and good... thus focus my attention on God and others. Sometimes it just doesn't come naturally... I guess most times, eh. Bleck. The thing I DON"T want to have happen is I don't want to fall into a slump or hibernate or anything like that. I just want to move through this tunnel as quickly as possible.

On a related note... I have been getting out to exercise every day for several weeks and it's been awesome...in more ways than just weight loss. I didn't get up and go the last 2 days... I think that has a major affect on my outlook and how I feel physically beyond just being slightly depressed. Tomorrow... there will be sweat and increased heart rate if I have to get up at the butt crack of dawn... if dawn has one of those?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


So, I just returned from vaca. in Maine with my mom and Great Aunt Shirley. It was a relaxing time, for sure. As often as possible, I got out on the beach and went walking which was therapeutic... although I think I did a little too much thinking at times. The one day, I wrote "hope" in the sand kind of as a reminder to myself. I love the Sara Groves song with the lyrics

"Hope has a way of turning *its* face to you
just when you least expect it
you walk in a room
you look out a window
and something there leaves you breathless
you say to yourself
it's been a while since I felt this
but it feels like it might be hope"

It's a tough time, but I'm turning a corner in my healing process. If you asked me last week I might have said that the past 3 months have been like a drive up an amazing mountain to a breathtaking view that ended abruptly with someone driving me off a cliff ... yet today I am seeing that when I was driven off the cliff, I was wearing a parachute that is taking me to a landing in a new and more precious place.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


It's amazing and beautiful how God can use someone in your life to show you how He sees you.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Learning About Power

This past year I've learned so much. It's insane, really. Lately, I've been really learning a lot about the power God has given us in prayer and even in speaking to situations. The other night at Gateway House of Prayer I realized that God wants to shine through us like a spot light. You know how we sing, "This Little Light Of Mine"... I got the realization that the light we have to shine is in fact not little at all. It was more than a realization... it was a revelation... I could literally feel like my enter midsection had a spotlight shining through it. So, yeah. I'm learning to pray EXPECTING.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

a quick note

Last night I went line dancing with my friend Erica. It felt good to have enough energy to move and have a good time. Unfortunately, now this morning I have the International Harvester song in my head.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Far Removed from This

Wow, I haven't posted at this blog site in a really long time... I tend to do most of my blogging at my myspace. I have used this username to post at some other blogs lately, though... I feel pretty far removed from where I was at when I posted my previous posts here. Suffice it to say, that God has done big things in me the past few years and there are more recent updates at http://www.myspace.com/staceymichelle. Maybe I'll write here from time to time again though.

A quote I read recently that meant a lot to me was this:

"As we learn to worship with purity of heart, our eyes will continue to open and we can expect to see what He wants us to see". -Bill Johnson from "When Heaven Invades Earth"